B777fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 154 posts, RR: 2 Posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4814 times:
The Thunderbirds ended their show early today in Chicago after news reports said a part fell off one of the planes. All aircraft and crew are safe as far as I know.
I was taking pictures from my roof deck in an area away from show center. Something was up as the two solo pilots flew in a racetrack holding pattern - one end of which was over my house - for about 20 minutes. On their last circuit they just headed straight to Gary where the show planes are operating from.
We saw all six planes at the start of the routine and the diamond made one pass over my house. We never saw the diamond again and the solo's then started holding.
Bobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4740 times:
Somebody on dpreview.com posted pictures showing the missle rail coming off the plane. It also appears that the piece came off as a result of contact between two of the planes.
I will post the link here with a warning and disclaimer. The images all have big ugly copyright notices on them. If that upsets you, please don't look at them, and don't blame me, they're not mine. I also want to emphasize that the pictures do NOT prove that the planes made contact.
I was at an airshow once, either Blue Angels or Thunderbirds, that was delayed while one of the pilots landed and changed planes due to a mechanical problem. I believe that is the normal procedure, they change planes if they have to, but they don't cancel. However, an incident with planes touching would certainly be cause for cancellation because they need to have an immediate investigation to figure out what went wrong.
Vikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9020 posts, RR: 28 Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4612 times:
I will say that from the photos posted, it looks like the starboard missile rail of the slot hit the upper surface of the left rear stabilizer of the starboard wing. That is, quite frankly, quite a feat. One must realize that the slot is the lowest in altitude of any plane in the diamond formation (I think in the delta as well). The slot would have to exceed the altitude of the wings, and then descend, and clip the horizontal stabilizer of the right wing. While technically possible, it just seems unlikely.
Elvisisalive From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 24 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4450 times:
Was at the practice show on friday, the T-Birds ended the practice show 1 plane short. They flew the high show and about 10 minutes in the diamond formation only had 3 planes. Have not seen anything regarding it in the news.
B777fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 154 posts, RR: 2 Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4400 times:
I was at the Gary Airport Friday when I took the picture of number 2 above. I had just moved into position to take these pictures after the two solo's landed. I was surprised to see only three planes 1,2,3 arrive. I thought I missed number four somehow.
I realize now that 4 must have arrived back very early - while I thought the practice was going on and I was driving around the field.
I wonder if that is what caused them to switch to the 2 seater for Saturday.
Dl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1560 posts, RR: 18 Reply 16, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4329 times:
Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 9): Based on perspective/size comparisons, there seems to be no way the slot F-16 could be below the point F-16
It does appear that the wingspan of the the slot plane is larger than that of the lead. I think that this is due to the bank angle of the slot being greater than that of the lead at the moment this pic was taken. If you look carefully at the photo you linked the missile rail of slot airplane is being bent upwards by the left stabilator of the right wing airplane.
Bobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4307 times:
I'll venture a guess that #3 was out of position. He was too far left, too low, and too far back. It appeared that #4 was in the right place below #1, then #4 made a dramatic move to get away from #3 as they touched.
HaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2081 posts, RR: 1 Reply 19, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4143 times:
The 2 seaters are flown to the show by the #7 or #8 pilots (who are the Liaison and Narrator iirc). In the day or 2 preceding the show various media people are given rides in the D model. If a spare TBird is needed, the 2 seater can fill that role too. In 20 years of going to airshows, I'd say at least 20% of the time either the Blues or TBirds were using a 2 seater as part of the show.
JohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1641 posts, RR: 3 Reply 22, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3794 times:
They were scheduled to fly this weekend (August 27/28) in Westfield, MA. A press release was issued by the ANG base to this effect - what are the chances the T-Birds will actually be back in the air by this weekend?
International Air Show Still Flying High
WESTFIELD, MA (Monday, August 22, 2005) The 104th Fighter Wing of the
Massachusetts Air National Guard announced that the air show scheduled
for Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th, is still very much
"A minor incident with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds in Chicago on
Saturday where two F-16s touched wingtips will not affect the planned
show here in Westfield", according to Col Tom Cantwell, 104th air show
coordinator. "We have a full day of flying and demonstrations planned
along with the exciting maneuvers of the full Thunderbird team and we
are confident the show will go on."
Navion From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1002 posts, RR: 1 Reply 23, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3761 times:
The Thunderbirds have now stated they will fly the Westfield show this weekend.
With regard to comments that it looks like #3 is out of position, I beg to differ. If you look carefully at #4, he was very far forward under #1 when the bump occurred, and once it occurred, his downward angle is more pronounced than #3 which is flying a good "paint" through the whole maneuver. I think #4 was the one who was "a little to snug" up in there.
Whatever the cause, the T-birds obviously feel comfortable that they've identified and rectified the problem.